Myth has it a newspaper reporter asked Willie Sutton, who had became famous during his 40-year bank robbing career starting in the 1920s, why he robbed banks. Willie replied, “Because, that’s where the money is.”
It happened again, right here in our city. A Willie Sutton wannabe robbed a Lakewood Bank.
The robbery occurred on Monday, March 6, 2017, at approximately 2:32p. A lone male entered the Key Bank located in the 10400 block of Gravelly Lake Drive SW, Lakewood, Washington, and presented a robbery note to the victim teller.
After fleeing the bank a witness reported that the suspect may have escaped in a gold Toyota Camry.
Quick tactics by Lakewood Police responding to the crime scene allowed for the gathering of evidence, the discovery of security cameras and processing of the bank’s surveillance film. The film successfully captured useful images of the bank robber.
Lakewood expedited the distribution of the suspect images to every member of the Lakewood Police Department, capitalizing on the positive and optomistic expectation that one of the LPD officers might recognize the suspect.
LPD’s information sharing tactic paid off at about 3:49p when LPD Officer Jordan Feldman reported he recognized the suspect. Officer Feldman forwarded a photo from his previous contact with the suspect. The two photos looked like a match.
Based on information provided by Officer Feldman, Patrol Sergeant Eakes drove by the suspect’s known residence and observed through a partially open garage door what appeared to be a gold Toyota Camry, which matched the description of the get-a-way car. Fresh tire tracks on the driveway indicated the car had recently been driven into the garage.
As police units began converging on the suspect’s home, with plans to surround the target location, the suspect was located in a nearby neighbor’s yard trying to make his escape.
He was wearing the same clothing he had in the bank photos and he had the bank’s money in his pocket.
The suspect was taken into custody without further incident.
It really does not pay to be a Willie Sutton wannabe in our city because we have the Lakewood Police protecting us.
To Chief Mike Zaro and your team of officers, I have to say, excellent police work. Thank you for doing everything you can to keep us safe.
In closing, as a writer, I can’t resist the tempatation to create my own Willie Sutton style myth, so here goes.
“Chief Zaro, why do you go to criminal’s houses? Chief Zaro replies, “Because, that’s where the bank robbers are.”